Antonio Conte issued a stinging assessment of Jose Mourinho and Pep Guardiola by insisting money cannot buy success.
Chelsea boss Conte said: “I think, this season, it’s very important to understand it’s not always about who spends the most money. In this league, this season, the name of the team wasn’t Chelsea or Tottenham or Arsenal or Liverpool. You understand?
“This season isn’t the only season the Manchester clubs have spent a lot of money. It’s normal.
“It’s right for them to do this, to reinforce their teams, if they think this is the right way to win the title. You’ve seen the past – every season, they spend a lot of money.
Antonio Conte speaks after Chelsea reach FA Cup final
“If you have to spend money, try to spend that money in the right way to take players with the right characteristics for your idea of football. But, for us, this season is very important because we are trying to build something for the present, to put down the foundations, and be stronger for the future.
“To become a real power in the future.”
Mourinho’s Manchester United and Guardiola-led Man City were the big spenders last summer.
The Reds blew in excess of £150million on players, including a world record £89m on Paul Pogba alone, while rivals City splashed nearly £200m.
Conte is now closing in on the Double in his first season of English football, while Guardiola will finish the campaign empty-handed.
United chief Mourinho’s title challenge fell flat and faces a battle just to finish in the Champions League places.
Chelsea did splash £110m themselves last summer, but their net spend for the season was only around £50m, following midfielder Oscar’s £60m move to China in January.